Foreign language education at SJTU is as old as the university. English Language was one of the first programs offered when the university was founded as Nan Yang College back in 1896, with a translation center added two years later. The Foreign Languages Department began to offer its BA program in English for Science & Technology in 1979 and launched an MA program in Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics in 1986 and a Ph.D. program in the same area in 1993.
With the expanding role it plays in SJTU’s important goal of instilling in students an understanding of and appreciation for other cultures in the global society as the world continually grows smaller, flatter and more interdependent, the Department was renamed School of Foreign Languages (SFL) in 1997. Since then a number of new programs, including a BA program in Japanese, an MA program in English Language and Literature, an MA program in Japanese Language and Literature, a Post-doctoral program in Foreign Languages and Literature, a BA program in German, an MA program in Translation and Interpreting, and an MA program in comparative literature and cross-cultural studies, have joined the ranks.